Born in Ireland, Major Sir William Newenham Montague Orpen, KBE, RA, RHA (William Orpen) studied in Dublin from 1892 to 1896 and went to London for further study at the Slade School of Fine Art in 1896. For the rest of his life, he lived and worked in London. There he received a number of honours, including membership in the New English Art Club, a governmental appointment as an official war artist during World War I, and a knighthood in 1918. He continued to work as a fashionable portrait painter during the 1920s, portraying wealthy and prestigious sitters in a traditional, highly polished style that rejected more recent developments in avant-garde art. He also produced a number of realistic self-portraits, both before and after the war, including Myself and Cupid (1910, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh) and Ready to Start (1917, Imperial War Museum, London).